When you think about software developers, chances are your thoughts turn to the popular stereotype of a math geek lurking in the basement, furiously typing away at a keyboard. Johannesburg-born Mitchan Adams turns this notion on its head, however, by showing how you can combine a passion for the arts with what many consider to be quite an analytical career path.
But then, Adams is not one to follow a traditional approach.
As i-Pay co-founder and head of R&D, he loves doing things differently. This is something he lives and breathes daily and has aided him in growing the secure payment platform to be a true world-beater.
Even though he had art as a Matric subject and wanted to pursue a career in music and acting, his parents advised him to establish a career platform first and then return to this creative direction. This resulted in him studying software engineering at the University of Johannesburg. Following graduation in 2004, Adams spent two years working at a stockbroking firm, developing and maintaining software that interfaced with the JSE futures stocks and bond markets.
He has not looked back since.
The next eight years saw Adams channelling his focus towards online and card-based payment streams working at organisations like Setcom and others. It was during this time that childhood friend Lyle Eckstein and himself founded a company to create custom software for small businesses to operate more efficiently.
At the end of 2014, this entrepreneurial drive gave rise to i-Pay, which the two of them co-founded with Thomas Pays. Focused on driving innovation in the payments industry, Adams is an FNB Innovation Awards 2017 finalist as well as an Endeavour Entrepreneur.
And while he might not be the musician he thought he would one day be, Adams creates a different kind of art with i-Pay. The company continues to grow from strength-to-strength and change how online payments are approached.